Friday, September 1, 2006

Entrepreneur27 Tastes Great, Less Phil’ng

I scored an invite (thanks Noah!) to the Taste Off 2006 event hosted by Entrepreneur27, Bottlenotes, and TechCrunch yesterday evening.

Pictured (left to right): Patrick Chiang of Lightspeed Venture Partners, Michael Ghaffary of Summit Partners, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, and Brian Berliner (me).

It was a really fun event. About 62 folks were on the list - roughly half VC/Investors and half Entrepreneurs. Much more intimate than some of the big TechCrunch-style bashes that I had attended at this same location (Michael was kind enough to open up his home in Atherton for this event - many thanks!). And, Noah Kagen did a nice job organizing the event and bringing in the folks from Bottlenotes to add some flavor and fun.

Bottlenotes is something like the Netflix of Wine. Or, maybe the eHarmony of Wine. They match your personality and wine preference (and your rating of past wines) to what you might like in the future, and send that to you each month. A nice twist on the usual, and one-size-fits-all, "beer of the month club". I wish them well. They made the event fun by putting us randomly into teams and having a wine tasting contest with prizes. Unfortunately, I only scored 5 out of 6 on the Wine Taste quiz, so I went home with just a buzz.

Even though the event was limited in size, I still didn't get a chance to talk to everyone. But, I did enjoy some good conversations with entrepreneurs from, Doostang,, TellMe Networks,, PixPulse, and a few that I can't talk about yet. Final observations:

  • Entrepreneurs are getting younger, or I'm getting older. Likely both.

  • There was a good amount of "picking my brain" going on by the entrepreneurs, which is a good sign. I've been through what they are going through multiple times and am happy to help them navigate their journey.

  • The startup excitement vibe continues to increase in the Bay Area.

Update: Other nice write-ups from Entrepreneur27, SF Chronicle, PixPulse Blog, and Tom Cole's Consuming Ambitions (which I vote "Best Writeup" of the bunch). Photos by Dave McClure, Michael Zhang, and Michael Arrington.

Unfortunately, nobody named "Phil" was there.

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  1. Brian,

    Thanks for coming to the event. I am glad you liked it. I will dedicate the next event to Phils of the world.

  2. Hi Brian,

    This is Michael from I didn't really get a chance to talk to you during the wine tasting event, but here is a Photoblog entry covering the event. I believe you're in one of the photographs, talking to the founders of

    I'd love to "pick your brain" sometime if you have the time.


    Michael Zhang

  3. Noah: Awesome job with the event. Well organized, executed, and fun.

    Michael Z: Thanks for the pointers to the pictures. Good stuff! My brain is always available for picking. It's what I do.



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